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View Diary: Khatami is In--This is a Clear Signal (309 comments)

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  •  kudos and clarifications on your diary (1+ / 0-)
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    FrankCornish

    First, thanks for bringing this important issue to our attention. You rec is well deserved.

    As a political veteran and a man who is now 65, Khatami knows that if the Supreme Council did not want him anywhere near power they would have told him not to run. I assure you he asked. He's too old and too experienced to waste his time. The fact that he is now running shows the Supreme Council wants to shift focus and is ready to change course. If the election in June validates that sentiment; they will not stop it.

    I want to urge you and everybody else not to fall into the Bush-lite rhetorical trap of saying "no matter what Ayatollahs are in charge." It's more complicated than that. This move has to be seen as a genuine expression of Iranian people without whose express support, Khatami could not make a move like this.

    If we really are talking about a typical arab-despot style dictatorship with meaningless elections with the same ruling party in power, then this event is certainly meaningless and undeserving of policy consideration. But we are not talking about that here.

    You say, "I assure you, he asked" the Guardian council before he ran, I assure you he did not ask.

    The Guardian council's job is to reject, not approve candidates on revolutionary/Islamic grounds. GC is one institution whose power is constantly being tested, and its members are subject to reappointment by the next parliament.
    see here.

    GC is an institution very much with its finger on the pulse of the Iranian populous.

    Case in point is the 2005 elections where two reformist candidates (Moin and Mehr-Alizadeh) were rejected by the GC. Yet it was force to reinstate them two weeks later after a popular uproar.

    Khatami is not asking. He's pushing the envelope and letting the GC / Supreme leader risk the consequences if they deny him.

    Which also means, that contrary to your analysis, Khatami is not the choice of the Supreme leader. Even Ahmadinejad wasn't his choice, in fact he backed Larijani during the campaigning in 2005, but later jumped on board on the "more pious" of the 2 top candidates.

    Which means, it's not a done deal - at all.

    Which means, Obama very well controls this election. Any Bush-like rhetoric, any more meaningless games at the UN, any hostile move in supporting anti-regime terrorists or US-based dissidents and he would hand Ahmadinejad his re-election. All of these issues are yet to be addressed by President Obama.

    It will not be easy, even if America says nothing. Ahmadinejad may have screwed up the economy royally, he my have sounded like an idiot to Western TV, but he's also the man who looked Bush in the eye and did not blink first. He's also the guy who kept Iran safe, by a risky "best defense is a good offense" strategy. Khatami killed the Uranium enrichment process for 2 years without the slightest consession from BushCo gang, at much damage to his own pride and reputation. Ahmadinejad campaigned on not giving an inch to the west. He has not given an inch, and he has been rewarded for it.

    That ain't a small thing.

    •  I did not mean to imply that Khatami was (0+ / 0-)

      Khamenei's "choice." I completely agree with you that its more complicated than that. However, I would stand by the assertion that if Khamenei and the SC wanted to stop him from running they would. I think they are hedging and are open to the possibility of Khatami winning in June. I don't think its a done deal in either direction--its not "fixed." They are watching closely and broadening possibilities in the opposite direction of what they did with Majlis elections in 03.

      I still do think he asked, through surrogates or others to make sure that he would not just be wasting his time.

      You may find yourself in a beautiful house with a beautiful wife and you may ask yourself, "How did I get here?"

      by FrankCornish on Mon Feb 09, 2009 at 03:04:22 PM PST

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